Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 3/26/14

National / International News


<> EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Clarify Protection for Nation's Streams and Wetlands - U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources. The proposed rule will benefit businesses by increasing efficiency in determining coverage of the Clean Water Act.

<> G-7 Agrees To Strengthen Energy Security & Obama Says Accelerated U.S. Exports - We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague. . . decided that G-7 Energy Ministers will meet to discuss ways to strengthen our collective energy security. . . We will suspend our participation in the G-8 until Russia changes course. . .

<> Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing on EPA Budget - Full Committee hearing entitled, "Oversight Hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget." Testimony of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and webcast

<> $1.1 Billion to State Wildlife Agencies from Excise Taxes on Anglers, Hunters, and Boaters - Secretary Jewell announced $1.1 billion in excise tax revenues paid by sportsmen and sportswomen to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation. Michigan gets $35+ million

<> World's Largest Investors Launch Effort to Engage Global Stock Exchanges on Sustainability Reporting Standard for Companies - Sustainability advocacy group Ceres, in collaboration with BlackRock and other major institutional investors, today announced an initiative to engage global stock exchanges via the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) on a. . .

<> Coal Ash Ponds: How Power Companies Get a 'Bypass' on Regulations Against Pollution - When we think of electric power plants and pollution, we often think of air pollution and climate change, and especially when it comes to coal-fired power plants. But power plants are also huge polluters of our waterways. . .

<> 7 Million Deaths Annually Linked to Air Pollution-WHO Report - In new estimates released today, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died - one in eight of total global deaths as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world's largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

<> The Natural Gas Revolution: Critical Questions for a Sustainable Energy Future - This report is part of Resources for the Future's (RFF) Natural Gas Initiative, a collaboration between RFF's Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP) and RFF's Center for Climate and Electricity Policy (CCEP).

<> Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships to Reduce Cyber Risks to Our Nation's Critical Infrastructure - Senate Hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; webcast and testimony

<> EPA Releases the Draft FY 2015 Addendum to the FY 2014 National Water Program Guidance for Public Comment - The draft National Water Program Guidance Addendum focuses on key changes to priorities, strategies, and measures from FY 2014. Public comments by April 4, 2014.

<> Water and Energy Nexus in Disasters Webinar Series: Coordination between Electric and Water Utilities - EPA will be hosting its second of four webinars focusing on the nexus between water and energy usage during disasters on April 2, 2014 from 1 to 2pm EST.  The webinar will feature two speakers from electric utilities and one speaker from a water utility who will share their experiences and recommendations for increasing coordination and communication between the two types of utilities. 

<> PV is already competitive against retail electricity in the commercial sector of major European markets - The results of the third issue of the study "PV Grid Parity Monitor", carried out by the consulting firm ECLAREON, sponsored by SunEdison, BayWa, and Gesternova, and in cooperation with Cooper Alliance, show that photovoltaic grid parity (the moment when PV LCOE becomes competitive with retail electricity prices, assuming that 100% of the electricity is self-consumed on-site)

<> New Report: Widely-Used Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments Are Unnecessary in Most Cases - Center for Food Safety today released a scientific literature review which reveals that neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments offer little benefit, do not increase crop yields, and cause widespread environmental and economic damage.

<> American Meteorological Society seven minute video on the basics of climate change - An edited version of Paul Higgins, Director, AMS Policy Program,  on the basics of climate change from his appearance on 24 Hours of Climate Reality.


Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Wednesday, March 26, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Climate, Air - Proposed Rule. EPA. Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Updates to HCFC Trade Language As Applied to Article 5 Countries; Ratification Status of Parties to the Montreal Protocol; and Harmonized Tariff Schedule Commodity Codes PDF | Text | 

2. Climate, Air - Direct Final Rule. EPA. Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Updates to HCFC Trade Language As Applied to Article 5 Countries; Ratification Status of Parties to the Montreal Protocol; and Harmonized Tariff Schedule Commodity Codes PDF | Text |


Click here for details on the WIMS Environmental HotSheet

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